6 Rules you should follow when buying a gun safe.

We are often asked many questions by customers who are interested in buying a gun safe. Below is a list of some of the most important rules to follow when you are in the market for a new safe.

  1. GET A SAFE WITH A THICK FRAME – 80-90% of the time when gun safes are attacked it’s by

    Thick Gun Safe Frame

    prying. Most thieves don’t bring cutting torches or harden drill bits to drill open your safe. They simply pry the door open and rip you off. Having a thick frame in front of your bolts will stop 99% of pry attacks. Most box store gun safes use thin frames, usually 1/8″, which is pretty easy to pry into. This is one of the reasons we suggest buying from gun safe manufacturer who offers thick 1/2″ – 3/4″ pry resistant frames, even if you have to pay a few more bucks for it.

  2. BUY A SAFE BIGGER THANK YOU THINK YOU NEED – Almost every gun safe buyer wishes he could go back in time before his purchase and buy the next size bigger. This is mainly because you buy more guns or ammo or your wife wants a few shelves for her jewelry and other collectables. So trust us, buy a safe at least 8″ wider than you think you need. You and your gun collection will be happy you did.
  3. CONSIDER A DIGITAL LOCK – Standard spin dial locks take 45 seconds to open. They have four number combos. You have to spin the dial four x to the left, 3 x to the right, 2 x to the left, then right till the dial stops. And if you’re off a number, you have to do it over again. Digital locks can be opened in 2 seconds. But make sure you buy an American made digital lock with a lifetime warranty. They are constructed better and can be repaired free if something malfunctions.
  4. BUY A GUN SAFE WITH A STEP DOOR – You probably hate when you go to a gun safe store

    Safe with Step Door

    and the door rattles when you push it back and forth. This is the way many gun safes are made. The problem with these loose fitting doors during a fire is heat rushes in the space between the door and frame, which heats up your gun safe fast. Step doors seal four times better and fit much tighter. They’re better all the way around.

  5. THICKER STEEL – Gun safes with 12 gauge steel and thinner can sometimes be penetrated with fire axes and saws easier than thicker steel. And thin steel actually flexes or bends when crooks attempt to pry gun safe doors open. Thick steel will not flex and allow the frame to contort, which could lead to pry-ins. Buying a 10 gauge steel body only costs about $200 more. It’s well worth it.
  6. BE CAUTIOUS OF MIDDLEMEN SELLING GUN SAFES ONLINE – They mark up prices for profits. When you buy from a manufacturer, they can use that extra money to build a better quality gun safe for you.In short, buy your gun safe straight from a manufacturer. It isn’t always the cheapest, but they do build the best gun safes. If you want a gun safe on sale, call a factory-direct gun safe company and ask a salesmen for gun safes on sale. They’ll usually cut you a deal! Good luck gun safe shopping.

Have more questions about buying a gun safe? Call us to talk with a gun safe expert: 800-266-7150

Visit us on the Web at: www.sportsmansteelsafes.com

1200 Weapons Recovered by Cops – Safety Issue or Right’s Violation?

Last week a gun owner passed away. When the authorities entered his home, they discovered 1200 weapons and 2 tons of ammo. For reasons unknown, the police took possession of the deceased firearms. Do you think this violates this gun owners’ family’s rights? Or was there a safety issue that needed to be addressed. The guns were just piled upon each other, incurring much damage when they were taken away. Do you think having these weapons in a gun safe would have prevented the seizure of these weapons?  Please let us know what you think about this article.


Gun Safes – What an Extra $300 gets you when buying a gun safe

We just finished researching the gun safe industry. Turns out 90% of folks buy their gun safes from box stores. They probably buy these safes because they save $300. Which means a safe they buy for $995 would cost $1295 from Sportsman Safes.

But here’s what you give up for that $300 savings! You’ll be blown away.

1) 30 Min Fire resistance Vs. 60 Min fire resistance – You get twice the fireproofing.

2) 1″ Step Door – The box stores give you a flat door that seals on one level. Our step door gun safes are built like bank safes that seal on five levels.

3) 250lbs – Our 60 x 32 x 28 gun safe for $1295 weighs 800lbs compared to a box store gun safe that weights 550lbs. Heavier is always better.

4) Thicker steel – We use 10 gauge steel vs. 12 gauge. That’s two gauges thicker.

5) 3/4″ Frame that protects your bolts from pry attacks. Many of these box store gun safes only have 1/8″ frames. They are MUCH easier to pry into. You can see online how thin frame gun safes can be pried open in less than two minutes.

So you can see you get what you paid for. Plus, a 60 min fire safe will protect your guns from longer fires. 30 min fire safes are not enough protection for your guns and other belongings.

Call us if you need help with any gun safe purchase. Or simple if you have questions about any of our vault door products. www.sportsmansteelsafes.com.

kevin H — Thanks!

Tornado and Severe Weather Safe Room Shelters

Tornado and Severe Weather Safe Room Shelters Provide Critical Protection

Spring is traditionally the beginning of severe weather and tornado season, and this year is no exception. 2015 has been especially hard on folks living in tornado alley and other locations prone to severe weather events like tornadoes.

Even if you don’t live in tornado country you may still be susceptible to severe weather damage. High winds caused by thunderstorms and hurricanes can cause major property damage and bodily harm, or even loss of life. You should always protect your family and possessions by seeking shelter any time severe weather is in your area.

Ideally most communities should have local shelters to protect their citizens, but that may not always be the case. Many communities are adding new shelters for the public general welfare. A good example of a community shelter is the new severe-weather safe room next to the fire station in Fultondale, AL. The concrete building can accommodate up to 300 people and is designed to withstand wind speeds of 250 miles per hour in up to three-second gusts.

This is a great example of a community coming together to protect its citizens, however, not all communities have the funds for such projects and many people may find themselves at home when severe weather strikes. You may only have moments to seek shelter. The best way to protect your family and property is by having your own tornado shelter – safe room.

Safe Rooms Provide Your Best Defense in Severe Weather

shelterWhether for your home or business your safe room shelter needs to meet FEMA standards. The guidelines are very comprehensive, but the bottom line is your shelter needs to be firmly adhered to the foundation and constructed in such a way as to protect the occupants during severe weather events like a tornado. Safe Rooms can be located in your home or built externally, but should not be more than 150 feet from your main living area.

There are several solutions to creating the best safe room shelter for your situation. A pre-made shelter designed to meet FEMA standards for tornado or sever weather events is a good choice. The shelter is designed to withstand the strong forces it may encounter, and if properly installed will provide solid security for you and your family. Another option is to build your own reinforced shelter and add a high quality vault door for ultimate strength. To decide which option is best for you it is always best to consult with a professional. Sportsman has been building both Safe Room Storm Shelters and Vault Doors for Shelters for over 36 years. You are invited to call for more information about the best safe room, storm shelter solution for you or your business.

Gun Safe Fireproofing. We use 6000 Degree Concrete!

Is it true gun safes only use drywall for fire-proofing?
Yes! I’d estimate 98% of gun safes only use a gypsum fire board material.

Is there anything better?
Yes, concrete! That’s what bank vaults use for fireproofing. In our quest to build the best gun safe, we offer a 6000 Degree Concrete.

Watch our JET BOARD CONCRETE FIRE MATERIAL video! We put a 6000 Degree torch of drywall & JET Board concrete! It’s 5 x more heat resistant than drywall. HERE’S THE GREAT NEWS! Our gun safes with concrete fireproofing are the same price as competitor’s gun safes with drywall. Buy our deluxe gloss paint jobs & get the concrete fireproofing free this month.

Hello Gun Safe Buyers

Hello Gun Safe Buyers,

Recently an article came out on gun safes that illustrated the dos and don’t of buying a gun safe. They talked about the importance of bolts, seamless constructed bodies and 30 Min fireproofing.

They made a few good points, but a few were off.

First, whether a gun safe body is seamless or welded is not very important.
Sure you don’t want a gun safe with minimal 2″ long welds connection your safe pieces, but a gun safe box with continuous welds on the inside seams is very, very strong. Having a seamless box isn’t important. I’ve never heard of a single gun safe having their welds popped in 35 years. But I have heard of gun safe doors being pried open because the door frames were too thin.

Which brings me to my next point. You need a thick steel frame in front of your bolts. How many bolts you have in your door doesn’t mean anything if your gun safe has a thin protective frame. When you pry a gun safe door, the bolts will bent back a thin protective frame and the door opens. That’s why Sportsman Steel’s gun safes have massive, thick 3/4″ frames which are near impossible to pry.

The article also states with enough time you can get into any gun safe. This is kind of true, but there are several things you can do that will make breaking into your safe almost impossible. One is building an interior shell of torch-resistant stainless steel. A good 1/2″ stainless steel interior will make torching the safe very, very hard. Sportsman sells an stainless steel bodies for as little as $1500 depending on your size. View all of our gun safes here.

So call if you want to know more about gun safes or vault doors. We’re here to help.

Kevin Hand, CEO Sportsman Vaults – 800 266-7150
Clients: FBI, CIA & U.S. Secret Service
View Our Vault Products: www.sportsmansteelsafes.com

Source: www.lasc.us/RangingShotGunSafes13-3.htm

Coffee, Burritos, and a side of Ammunition? Restaurants Take a Stance on Gun Control

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This is stated in the American constitution, however the meaning is often timed debated. Sure, the right to bear arms means that Americans have the right to own a gun, but should they have the right to carry that gun? And if so, should there be any limits as to where the gun can be carried such as in restaurants? This seems to be a huge issue that moms are demanding answers to and restaurant chains including Chipotle and Starbucks are left to make a huge decision: should they honor the right to bear arms in their restaurants?

Gun Purse

By now you’ve probably heard about the recent gun scandal regarding Chipotle. In the middle of May, a Texas Chipotle was blasted for allowing a group of men to do an “open carry” demonstration while armed with military rifles to openly meet inside of the restaurant. A photograph of the occurrence quickly made its way onto Facebook and became a viral sensation. Moms were outraged and garnered support from former New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg. Together, Bloomberg and Moms Demand Action created a campaign demanding that Chipotle forbid guns and rifles from being carried into their restaurants. Chipotle responded just a few days later announcing that they would ban guns from being inside their restaurants unless being carried by law enforcement officials in an effort to make their customers feel more comfortable and safe.

Chipotle’s not the only restaurant to take action against guns either. Back in September Starbucks requested that their customers no longer bring guns inside their store. However, as noted in CEO Howard Schultz’s open letter, Starbucks was not outright banning guns from their restaurants. There reason? They wanted gun owners to have the ability to responsibly carry their guns and they thought this would help ensure the safety of their employees.

Chipotle and Starbucks are both recent examples of restaurants doing their best to make their customers happy and to keep their restaurants safe from firearms. While they both have a bit of a different stance on the issue of gun control, safety is still their number one priority. Rather than having customers openly carry a gun into their restaurant, Chipotle and Starbucks would both prefer to hear that their customers have chosen to keep their guns at home, locked away in secured gun safes.


5 Questions to Ask Before Purchasing a Gun Safe

Are you a new gun owner?

If so, you may be considering some accessories you’d like to purchase to go along with your new guns. Gun oil, a cleaning kit, holsters, extra ammunition, and magazines may be the first things to come to mind. However, the most important accessory to buy for your gun is a gun safe.

Gun in hand being placed in gun safe.

Owning a gun safe is especially crucial if you live with children who may have access to a gun if it is left out in the open. Choosing a gun safe can seem like an overwhelming process. There are many different sizes and styles to choose from. Here are the questions you should ask before purchasing a gun safe to ensure you purchase the best one for your current and future needs.

What Size Gun Safe Do I Need?

Gun safes come in various sizes from a small gun safe that can hold a maximum of 7-10 guns to a larger gun safe that can hold up to a few hundred guns. Take inventory of all of your guns and then be sure to choose a size that allows you extra room. For example, if you have 7 guns and a small gun safe only holds 7 guns you may want to consider purchasing a medium sized safe instead. This will allow you to have storage space should you decide to purchase more guns down the road. You can also use the extra space to store other valuables such as jewelry and money or even gun accessories and ammunition. You will also want to consider the length and width of the gun safe. For example, if you mainly own long rifles then you will need a longer gun safe.

What Kind of Lock Does the Gun Safe Have?

Gun safes can come equipped with various forms of locks. Some have passcodes while others have dual locks with multiple relockers. Be sure that whichever gun safe you choose has an effective working lock that is not easy to hack into. Avoid purchasing a safe that has a simple lock and key as this may be easy for unauthorized persons or children to break into. Always test the lock before purchasing a gun safe to ensure it works properly and offers maximum security.

Where Will I Store My Gun Safe?

It’s a good idea to plan where you will store your gun safe before purchasing it. Make sure you have adequate storage space for it. You will want to put it somewhere that it will be safe and secured. Many gun safe owners like to mount their gun safes to the floor to ensure maximum safety and to prevent it from tipping over. You’ll also want to choose a place that is not frequented by children.

Is the Gun Safe Tested for Safety?

Never buy a gun safe that has not been tested for safety and security. Always ask about their safety guarantee and how gun safes are tested. Here at Sportsman Steel Safes our safes are tested with drills to ensure that they are drill-proof. None of our safes have ever been successfully broken into before. You should never buy a gun safe that does not come with a safety guarantee or that has not been tested prior to its sale.

Is the Gun Safe Fireproof?

No one likes to think about the possibility of having their home catch on fire. However, it always pays to be prepared for the worst. Many gun safe owners like to use their safes to store other valuables including extra money so that in the event of a fire they still have a reserve. This is why having a fire-proof gun safe is so essential. If you store your most valuable items and/or an emergency fund away in a safe that is not fire-proof, then you will have lost everything in the event of a fire. Additionally, fire-proof gun safes add an extra layer of security that can help to prevent break ins or destruction from burglars.

Choosing a proper gun safe is just as important if not more so than choosing your actual gun. When you ask yourself these five questions prior to purchasing a gun safe you’ll be sure to purchase on that will keep your guns safe and secured to the maximum extent.

5 Things You Need to Know About Smart Guns

By now you’ve probably heard of the newest sensation in the world of guns: smart guns.

Smart guns, also known as “authorized user recognition” guns are designed to be a safer alternative to the traditional gun and to prevent unauthorized personnel from using them. This is done through the use of computerized technology similar to the technology your smart phone uses.

Picture of the new smart gun that runs on batteries, with bullets.

Smart guns have been in the news a lot lately. It seems as though people either fully endorse the concept of smart guns or are adamantly against them. Regardless of which side of the smart gun debate you are on, here are the 5 most important things you need to know about them.

#1: Smart Guns Will Not be Prone to Failure

Yes, they are designed to be safer. The goal of a smart gun is to prevent unauthorized users from getting a hold of it. However, it still involves the use of technology and technology can and will fail from time to time. Have you ever experienced an issue with your smart phone such as delayed start, freezing, or inability to turn it off? A smart gun is no different and no less prone to these kinds of incidents. This is why you should never ever leave your ammunition inside of it when it is not in use. Also, be sure to keep it away from children at all times. It is recommended to store it in the safest gun safe you can buy to ensure it remains secure at all times when not in use.

#2: In Some States, Smart Guns May Soon Be The Only Legal Guns

While smart gun technology is still fairly new many states are already beginning to develop laws surrounding this new form of technology. New Jersey is one of the first states working to legislate laws that forbid the sale of conventional firearms once the smart guns hit the market. Many are urging Washington to follow through with New Jersey’s plans and mandate bills on a national basis. If you’re a fan of firearms, now would be a good time to become familiar with smart guns and learn to like them. Soon they may be all you can legally own.

#3: Smart Guns Will Run on Batteries

Whereas conventional guns run solely on ammunition, smart guns will require both ammunition and batteries. A smart gun is not your average gun. Rather, it’s a gun powered by a computer that requires energy to run. The batteries will provide it with the energy it needs. This is perhaps one of the reasons why the sale of smart guns is being delayed. Manufacturers must develop an efficient method for alerting smart gun owners of low batteries and reminding them to recharge or replace the batteries. Ideally, a smart gun owner should have an extra battery that is fully charged in case of emergency.

#4: They May Require You to Wear a Special Device

There are many different concepts for smart guns floating around, but one of the most common concepts will require its users to wear a special device such as a watch. The gun will only go off if is within range of the watch or other device. This is just one way that smart gun manufacturers are working to ensure maximum safety.

#5: Possibly More Dangerous than Conventional Guns

Sure, the goal is to create a safer gun and making it inaccessible to unauthorized users will definitely help. However, they use computerized technologies meaning they will be susceptible to hacking. No matter how secured your computerized device is there’s always the rare chance that someone will know how to break the code. Criminals may also be able to break into police weapons and use them against authority which could result in a very dangerous incident.

Conventional guns are still the firearms of choice for most gun owners as smart guns are not yet widely available (California has begun to sell them in February, but most other states have not started selling them yet). However, it is expected that smart guns will become more widely available in the near future and easier to obtain than a conventional gun. For these reasons gun enthusiasts must remain educated and aware of what smart guns are, how they work, and any laws that are created in regards to them.

Choosing the Right Lock for Your Gun Safe

Choosing a proper gun safe is an important decision that affects not only the safety of your firearms, but the protection of your loved ones as well. When weighing your options and choosing which safe works best for your needs, there are several things to consider. Possibly the most important thing to factor into this decision is what type of lock, and how many locking bolts, you should look for in a gun safe. At Sportsman Steel Safes, we want our clientele to be educated on the various types of safes that they can get and which is the best, safest choice for their needs. Here is some information on locking mechanisms and bolts that we think will help you:

The Two main Types of Locking Mechanism

Experts have weighed in on this topic and have offered their thoughts on the two most popular types of gun safe locking mechanisms: combination dial and digital style locks. Opinions throughout the industry typically agree that while combination dial locks are, in fact, slower to open than electronic locks, they are also typically more durable and trustworthy when it comes to actually securing your firearms. It is important to factor in the speed of your firearm’s availability in a crisis situation, however, and the difference in opening time between a dial and digital lock is pretty substantial.


While it is believed to be trickier to determine a combination dial lock’s code after it has been “spun clear,” as opposed to possibly using a program to pick an electric one, the latter offers more security. Electronic locks with digital access allow owners to change codes whenever necessary, as opposed to combo dial locks that require a much longer process. Digital access can also allow for industry upgrades such as fingerprint technology. The debate becomes one of old fashioned strength and durability versus accessibility and versatility. The results are in, and it has been reported that around 80% of gun safe owners actually rely on digital locks, rather than their dial-equipped ancestors.

The great thing about Sportsman Steel Safes, though, is that they don’t just utilize digital locks. Some of their most impressive safes also have physical key locks for extra defense and protection. With the thicker walls and doors, the extra fire protection, and the ample relockers on their safes, it’s easy to see why the FBI uses our products.

How Many Locking Bolts do You Need?

When it comes to the actual locking mechanisms within the safe, and figuring out how many locking bolts are necessary to safely stow your firearms, obviously the more that your safe features, the better. Experts advise that your gun safe should have a minimum of two bolts on each of the four sides of the container, which creates an equal distribution of protection on each side; it is also important to avoid any safe that has bolts on only one or three sides, as it is not as balanced.

The choice of which gun safe to use for your firearms is one that must be well-researched. Industry experts agree that while combination dial lock safes are much more durable, digital locks provide a quicker response time in emergencies and benefit from upgraded technology. Each model has its benefits, and you must weigh which lock type will meet your family’s needs.

If you have any questions or would like some advice about the best gun safe for your needs, call or contact us at Sportsman Steel Safes! We have the experience to help fit the safe to the need.